Frank Frankfort Moore.

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A GARDEN OF PEACE

F. FRANKFORT MOORE




[Frontispiece]



THE CASTLE GATEWAY AND KEEP



A

GARDEN OF PEACE

A MEDLEY IN QUIETUDE

BY
F. FRANKFORT MOORE



AUTHOR OF
'THE JESSAMY BRIDE," ETC.



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS




NEW XSJr YORK
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY



COPYRIGHT, 1820
BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



TO

DOROTHY

ROSAMUND FRANCIE
OLIVE MARJORIE

URSULA



2052002



ILLUSTRATIONS

THE CASTLE GATEWAY AND KEEP .... Frontispiece

PAGE

THE " CREEPER-CLAD RESIDENCE " 24

FORMAL BEDS AND ROSE BORDER 32

THE PEACOCK ARCH 48

THE CASCADE (MONOLITHS FROM GIANT'S CAUSEWAY IN

FOREGROUND) 64

THE HOUSE GARDEN 80

ROSE PILLAR AND PERGOLA 112

THE TEMPLE AND THE TEMPLARS 128

THE SHELTER OF ARTEMIS 144

THE An BABA PLACE ........ 160

A ROSE COLONNADE 168

A LILY POND 176

ENTRANCE TO THE ITALIAN GARDEN 208

A GLIMPSE OF THE ITALIAN GARDEN . . . . ' . 224

THE ENTRANCE TO A GREENHOUSE ..... 240

A STONE SEAT 264

THE HERBACEOUS TERRACE 272

CONSTRUCTING THE PEACH ALLEY 296



A GARDEN OF PEACE




CHAPTER THE FIRST

DOROTHY frowns slightly, but slightingly, at the
title; but when challenged to put her frown into
words she has nothing worse to say about it than
that it has a certain catchpenny click the world is
talking about The Peace and she has an impression
that to introduce the word even without the very
definite article is an attempt to derive profit from a
topic of the hour something like backing a horse
with a trusty friend for a race which you have
secret information it has won five minutes earlier
a method of amassing wealth resorted to every day,
I am told by some one who has tried it more than
once, but always just five minutes too late.

I don't like Dorothy's rooted objection to my liter-
ary schemes, because I know it to be so confoundedly
well rooted; so I argue with her, assuring her that
literary men of the highest rank have never shown
any marked reluctance to catch the pennies that are
thrown to them by the public when they hit upon a

n



12 A GARDEN OF PEACE

title that jingles with the jingle of the hour. To de-
scend to an abject pleasantry I tell her that a taking
title is not always the same as a take-in title; but, for
my part, even if it were

And then I recall how the late R. D. Blackmore
(whose works, by the way, I saw in a bookseller's at
Twickenham with a notice over them " by a local
author") accounted for the popularity of Lorna
Doone: people bought it believing that it had some-
thing to do with the extremely popular engagement
" a Real German Defeat," Tenniel called it in his
Punch cartoon of the Marquis of Lome and the
Princess Louise. And yet so far from feeling any
remorse at arriving at the Temple of Fame by the
tradesman's entrance, he tried to get upon the same
track again a little later, calling his new novel Alice
Lorraine: people were talking a lot about Alsace-
Lorraine at the time, as they have been doing ever
since, though never quite so loudly as at the present
moment (I trust that the publishers of the novel are
hurrying on with that new edition) .

But Dorothy's reply comes pat: If Mr. Blackmore
did that, all she can say is that she doesn't think any
the better of him for it; just what the Sabbatarian
Scotswoman said when the act of Christ in plucking
the ears of corn on the Sabbath Day was brought
under her ken.

" My dear," I cry, " you shouldn't say that about
Mr. Blackmore: you seem to forget that his second
name was Doddridge, and I think he was fully justi-
fied in refusing to change the attractive name of his



A GARDEN OF PEACE 18

heroine of the South Downs because it happened to
catch the ears (and the pence) of people interested in
the French provinces which were pinched by the
Germans, who added insult to injury by transforming
Alsace-Lorraine to Elsass-Lothringen. And so far
as my own conscience is concerned "

" Your own what? " cried Dorothy.

" My own conscience literary conscience, of
course."

"Oh, that one? Well?"

" I say, that so far as as as I am concerned, I
would not have shrunk from calling a book A Garden
in Tipperary if I had written it a few years ago when
all England and a third of France were ringing with
the name Tipperary.

" Only then it would have been a Garden of War,
but now it suits you your fancy, to make it a Garden
of Peace."

" It's not too late yet; if you go on like this, I think
I could manage to introduce a note of warfare into it
and to make people see the appropriateness of it as
well ; so don't provoke me."

" I will not," said Dorothy, with one of her per-
plexing smiles.

And then she became interesting; for she was ready
to affirm that every garden is a battlefield, even when
it is not run by a husband and his wife a dual
system which led to the most notorious horticultural
fiasco on record. War, according to Milton, origi-
nated in heaven, but it has been carried on with great
energy ever since on earth, and the first garden of



14 A GARDEN OF PEACE

which there is a literary record maintained the heav-
enly tradition. So does the last, which has brought
forth fruit and flowers in abundance through the
slaughter of slugs, the crushing of snails, the immola-
tion of leather- jackets, the annihilation of earwigs,
and is now to be alluded to as a Garden of Peace, if
you please.

Dorothy can be very provoking when she pleases
and is wearing the right sort of dress; and when she
has done proving that the most ancient tradition of
a garden points to a dispute not yet settled, between
the man and his wife who were running it, she begins
to talk about the awful scenes that have taken place
in gardens. We have been together in a number of
gardens in various parts of the world: from those
of the Borgias, where, in the cool of the evening,
Lucrezia and her relations communed on the strides
that the science and art of toxicology was making,
on to the little Trianon where the diamond necklace
sparkled in the moonlight on the eve of the rising of
the people against such folk as Queens and Cardinals
on to the gardens of the Temple, where the roses
were plucked before the worst of the Civil Wars of
England devastated the country on to Cherry
Orchard, near Kingston in the island of Jamaica,
where the half-breed Gordon concocted his patriotic
treason which would have meant the letting loose of
a jungle cf savages upon a community of civilisation,
and was only stamped out by the firm foot of the
white man on whose shoulders the white man's burden
was laid, and who snatched his fellow-countrymen



A GARDEN OF PEACE 15

from massacre at the sacrifice of his own career; for
party government, which has been the curse of Eng-
land, was not to be defrauded of its prey because Gov-
ernor Eyre had saved a colony from annihilation.
These are only a few of the gardens in which we have
stood together, and Dorothy's memory for their asso-
ciations is really disconcerting. I am disconcerted;
but I wait, for the wisdom of the serpent of the
Garden comes to me at times I wait, and when I
have the chance of that edgeways word which some-
times I can't get in, I say,

" Oh, yes, those were pleasant days in Italy among
the cypresses and myrtles, and in Jamaica with its
palms. I think we must soon have another ramble
together."

" If it weren't for those children but where should
we go? " she cried.

" I'm not sure," I said, as if revolving many memo-
ries, " but I think some part of the Pacific Slope "

" Gracious, why the Pacific Slope, my man? "

" Because a Pacific Garden must surely be a
Garden of Peace ; and that's where we are going now
with the title-page of a book that is to catch the
pennies of the public, and resemble as nearly as I
can make it consistent with my natural propensity
to quarrel with things that do not matter in the least
one of the shadiest of the slopes of the Island
Valley of Avilion

" Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow,
Nor ever wind blows loudly, for it lies



16 A GARDEN OF PEACE

Deep-meadow'd, happy, fair with orchard-lawns
And bowery hollows, crown'd with summer sea."

Luckily I recollected the quotation, for if I had not
been letter-perfect I should have had a poor chance
of a bright future with Dorothy.

As it was, however, she only felt if the big tomato
was as ripe as it seemed, and said,

" ' Orchard-lawns.' H'm, I wonder if Tennyson,
with all his * careful-robin ' observation of the little
things of Nature was aware that you should never
let grass grow in an apple orchard."

" I wonder, indeed," I said, with what I considered
a graceful acquiescence. " But at the same time I
think I should tell you that there are no little things
in Nature."

" I suppose there are not," said she. " Anyhow,
you will have the biggest tomato in Nature in your
salad with the cold lamb. Is that the bell? "

" It is the ghost-tinkle of the bell of the bell-wedder
who was the father of the lamb," said I poetically.

"So long as you do not mention the mother of the
lamb when you come to the underdone stratum, I
shall be satisfied," said she.

. .

PS. (1.30) And I didn't.

.

PPS. (1.35) But I might have.



CHAPTER THE SECOND

THIS town of ours is none other than Yardley Parva.
Every one is supposed to know that the name means
" The Little Sheltered Garden," and that it was given
this name by a mixed commission of Normans and
Romans. The Normans, who spoke a sort of French,
gave it the first syllable, which is the root of what
became jardin, and which still survives in the " back-
yard " of American literature ; meaning not the back-
yard of an English home, where broken china and
glass and other incidental rubbish are thrown to work
their way into the bowels of the earth, but a place of
flowers and beans and pumpkins. The surname,
Parva, represents the influence of the Romans, who
spoke a sort of Latin. Philologists are not whole-
hearted about the " ley," but the general impression
is that it had a narrow escape from being " leigh," an
open meadow ; ley, however, is simply " lee," or a
sheltered quarter, the opposite to " windward."

Whatever foundation there may be for this phil-
ology whether it is derived from post hoc evidence
or not every one who knows the place intimately
will admit that if it is not literally exact, it should
be made so by the Town Council ; for it is a town of
sheltered little gardens. It has its High Street: and

17



18 A GARDEN OF PEACE

this name, a really industrious philologist will tell
you, is derived, not from its occupying any elevated
position, but from the fact that the people living on
either side were accustomed to converse across the
street, and any one wishing to chat with an opposite
neighbour, tried to attract his attention with the usual
hail of "hie there!"; and as there was much cross-
questioning and answering, there was a constant
chorus of " hie, hie ! " so that it was really the gibe
of strangers that gave it its name, only some fool of
a purist seven or eight hundred years ago acquired
the absurd notion that the word was " High " instead
of "Hie!" So it was that Minnesingers' Lane
drifted into Mincing Lane, I have been told. It had
really nothing to do with the Min Sing district of
China, where the tea sold in that street of tea-brokers
came from. Philology is a wonderful study; and no
one who has made any progress in its by-paths should
ever be taken aback or forced to look silly.

The houses on each side of the High Street are
many of them just as they were four or five hundred
years ago. Some of them are shops with bow fronts
that were once the windows of parlours in the days
when honest householders drank small ale for break-
fast and the industrious apprentices took down the
shutters from their masters' shops and began their
day's work somewhere about five o'clock in midsum-
mer, graduating to seven in midwinter. There are
now some noble plate-glass fronts to the shops, but
there are no apprentices, and certainly no masters.
Scores of old, red-tiled roofs remain, but they are no



A GARDEN OF PEACE 19

more red than the red man of America is red. The
roofs and the red man are of the same hue. Sixty
years ago, when slate roofs became popular, they
found their way to Yardley Parva, and were reck-
oned a guarantee of a certain social standing. If you
saw a slate roof and a cemented brick front you might
be sure that there was a gig in the stable at the back.
You can now tell what houses had once been tiled by
the pitch of the roofs. This was not altered on the
introduction of the slates.

But with the innovations of plate-glass shop-fronts
and slate roofs there has happily been no change in
the gardens at the back of the two rows of the houses
of the High Street. Almost every house has still its
garden, and they remain gay with what were called
in my young days " old-fashioned flowers," through
the summer, and the pear-trees that sprawl across
the high dividing walls in Laocoon writhings the
quinces that point derisive, gnarled fingers at the old
crabs that give way to soundless snarls against the
trained branches of the Orange Pippins the mulber-
ries that are isolated on a patch of grass all are
to-day what they were meant to be when they were
planted in the chalk which may have supplied Roman
children with marbles when they had civilized them-
selves beyond the knuckle-bones of their ancestors'
games.

I cannot imagine that much about these gardens
has changed during the changes of a thousand years,
except perhaps their shape. When the Anglo-Saxon
epidemic of church-building was running its course,



20 A GARDEN OF PEACE

the three-quarters-of-a-mile of the High Street did
not escape. There was a church every hundred yards
or so, and some of them were spacious enough to hold
a congregation of fifty or sixty ; and every church had
its church-yard that is, as we have seen its garden,
equal to the emergencies of a death-rate of perhaps
two every five years; but when the churches became
dwelling-houses, as several did, the church-yard be-
came the back-yard in the American sense : fruit-trees
were planted, and beneath their boughs the burgesses
discussed the merits of ale and the passing away of
the mead bowl, and shook their heads when some
simpleton suggested that the arrow that killed Rufus
a few months before was an accidental one. There
are those gardens to-day, and the burgesses smoke
their pipes over the six-thirty edition of the evening
paper that left London at five-fifteen, and listen to
stories of Dick, who lost a foot at the ford of the
Somme, or of Tom, who got the M.C. after Mons,
and went through the four years without a scratch,
or of Bob, who had his own opinion about the taking
of Jerusalem, outside which two fingers of his left
hand are still lying, unless a thieving Arab appro-
priated them.

There the chat goes on from century to century on
the self -same subject War, war, war. It is certain
that men left Yardley Parva for the First Crusade;
one of the streets that ran from the Roman road to
the Abbey which was founded by a Crusading Nor-
man Earl, retains the name that was given to it to
commemorate the capture of Antioch when the news



A GARDEN OF PEACE 21

reached England a year or so after the event ; and it
is equally certain that Yardley men were at Bosworth
Field, and Yardley men at Tournai in 1709 as well
as in 1918 at the Nile in 1798 as well as in 1915; and
it is equally certain that such of them as came back
talked of what they had seen and of what their com-
rades had done. The tears that the mothers proudly
shed when they talked of those who had not come
home in 1918 were shed where the mothers of the
Crusaders of 1099 had knelt to pray for the repose
of the souls of their dear ones whose bones were
picked by the jackals of the Lebanon. On the site
of one of the churches of the market-place there is
now built a hall of moving pictures Moving Pictures
that is the whole sum of the bustle of the thousand
years Moving Pictures. The same old story. Life
has not even got the instinct of the film-maker: it
does not take the trouble to change the scenes of the
exploits of a thousand ten thousand years ago, and
those of to-day. Egypt, the Nile, Gaza, Jerusalem,
Damascus, Mesopotamia. Moving pictures walk-
ing shadows walking about for a while but all hav-
ing the one goal the Garden of Peace ; those gardens
that surrounded the churches, where now the apple-
trees bloom and fruit and shed their leaves.

These little irregular back-gardens are places of
enchantment to me and I think I like those behind
the smallest of the shops, which are not more than
thirty feet square, rather than those higher up the
town, of a full acre or two. These bigger ones do not
suggest a history beyond the memory of the gardeners



22 A GARDEN OF PEACE

who trim the hedges and cut the grass with a ma-
chine. The small and irregular ones suggest a good
deal more than a maiden lady wearing gloves, with
a basket on her arm and a pair of snipping shears
opening its jaws to bite the head off every bloom that
has a touch of brown on its edge. But with me it is
not a matter of liking and not liking; it is a matter
of liking and liking better it is the artisan's opinion
of rival beers (pre-war) : all good but some better
than others. The little gardens behind the shops are
lyrics; the big ones behind the villas are excellent
prose, and excellent prose is frequently quite as prosy
as excellent verse. They are alive but they are not
full of the joy of living. The flowers that they bring
forth suggest nice girls whose education is being care-
fully attended to by gentlemen who are preparing for
Ordination. Those flowers do not sing, and I know
perfectly well that if they were made to sing it would
be to the accompaniment of a harmonium, and they
would always sing in tune and in time: but they
would need a conductor, they would never try any-
thing on their own not even when it was dark and
no one would know anything about it. Somehow
these borders make me think of the children of Blun-
dell's Charity a local Fund which provides for the
education on religious principles of fifteen children
born in wedlock of respectable parents. They occupy
a special bench in the aisle of one of the churches, and
wear a distinctive dress with white collars and cuffs.
They attend to the variations of the Sacred Service,
and are always as tidy and uninteresting as the



A GARDEN OF PEACE 23

borders in the wide gardens behind the houses that are
a quarter of a mile beyond the gardens of the High
Street shops.

But it is in these wide gardens that the earliest
strawberries are grown, and to them the reporter of
the local newspaper goes in search of the gigantic
gooseberry or the potato weighing four pounds and
three ounces; and that is what the good ladies with
the abhorred shears and the baskets the Atropussies,
in whose hands lie the fates of the fruits as well as of
the flowers consider the sum of high gardening: the
growth of the abnormal is their aim and they are as
proud of their achievement as the townsman who took
to poultry was of his when he exhibited a bantam
weighing six pounds.

Now I hold that gardens are like nurseries nurs-
eries of children, I mean and that all make an appeal
to one's better nature, that none can be visited with-
out a sense of pleasure eyen though it may be no more
than is due to the anticipation of getting away from
them; therefore, I would not say a word against the
types which I venture to describe as I have found
them. The worst that I can say of them is that they
are easily described, and the garden or the girl that
can be described will never be near my heart. Those
gardens are not the sort that I should think of marry-
ing, though I can live on the friendliest of terms with
them, particularly in the strawberry season. They do
not appeal to the imagination as do the small and
irregular ones at the rear of the grocer's, the sta-
tioner's, the fishmonger's, the bootmaker's, or the



24 A GARDEN OF PEACE

chymist's in this connection I must spell the name
of the shop with a y : the man who sits in such a garden
is a chymist, not a chemist. I could not imagine a
mere chemist sniffing the rosemary and the tansy and
the rue au naturel: the mere chemist puts his hand
into a drawer and weighs you out an ounce of the
desiccated herbs.

In one of Mr. Thomas Hardy's earlier novels I
think it is The Mayor of Casterbridge he describes
a town, which is very nearly as delightfully drowsy
as our Yardley Parva, as one through which the bees
pass in summer from the gardens at one side to those
at the other. In our "town I feel sure that the bees
that enter among the small gardens of sweet scents
and savours at one end of the High Street, never
reach the gardens of the gigantic gooseberry at the
other; unless they make a bee-line for them at the
moment of entering; for they must find their time
fully occupied among the snapdragons of the old
walls, the flowers of the veronica bushes, and the but-
tons of the tall hollyhocks growing where they please.

When I made, some years ago, a tour of Wessex,
I went to Casterbridge on a July day, and the first
person I met in the street was an immense bee, and
I watched him hum away into the distance just as
Mr. Hardy had described him. He seemed to be
boasting that he was Mr. Hardy's bee, just as a Pres-
byterian Minister, who had paid a visit to the Holy
Land to verify his quotations, boasted of the reference
made to himself in another Book.

" My dear friends," said he, " I read in the Sacred



A GARDEN OF PEACE 25

Book the prophecy that the land should be in heaps;
I looked up from the page, and there, before my very
eyes, lay the heaps. I read that the bittern should
cry there; I looked up, and lo! close at hand stood
the bittern. I read that the Minister of the Lord
should mourn there: I was that Minister/'

But there are two or three gardens now that I
come to think of it there are not so many as three
governed by the houses of the " better-class people "
(so they were described to me when I first came to
Yardley Parva), which are everything that a garden
should be. Their trees have not been cut down as
they used to be forty years ago, to allow the flowers
to have undisputed possession. In each there are
groups of sycamore, elm, and silver birch, and their
position makes one feel that one is on the border of
a woodland through which one might wander for
hours. There are tulip-trees, and a fine arbutus on
an irregular, slightly-sloping lawn, and a couple of
enormous drooping ashes twenty people can sit in
the green shade of either. In graceful groups there
are laburnums and lilacs. Farther down the slope is
a well-conceived arrangement of flower-beds cut out
of the grass. Nearly everything in the second of these
gardens is herbaceous; but its roses are invariably
superb, and its lawn with a small lily pond beside it,
is ideal. The specimen shrubs on a lower lawn are
perfect as regards both form and flower, and while
one is aware of the repose that is due to a thoughtful
scheme of colour, one is conscious only of the effect,
never being compelled to make use of the word artis-



26 A GARDEN OF PEACE

tic. As soon as people begin to talk of a garden being
artistic you know that it has failed in its purpose,
just as a portrait-painter has failed if you are im-
pressed with the artistic side of what he has done.
The garden is not to illustrate the gardener's art any
more than the portrait is to make manifest the
painter's. The garden should be full of art, but so
artfully introduced that you do not know that it is
there. I have heard a man say as if he had just
made a unique discovery,

" How extraordinary it is that the arrangements
of colour in Nature are always harmonious! "

Extraordinary!

Equally extraordinary it is that

"Treason doth never prosper; what's the reason?
For if it prospers none dare call it treason."

All our impressions of harmony in colour are de-
rived from Nature's arrangements of colour, and
when there is no longer harmony there is no longer
Nature. Is it marvellous that Nature should be har-
monious when all our ideas of harmony are acquired
from Nature? A book might be written on this text
I am not sure that several books have not been
written on it. It is the foundation of the analysis of
what may be called without cant, " artistic impres-
sion." It is because it is so trite that I touch upon it
in my survey of a Garden of Peace. We love the
green of the woodland because it still conveys to us


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